Restaurant responds to guest who dubbed it ‘disgusting’ despite not having eaten there

One guest, who attempted to eat at the Amalfi Lounge four weeks ago, left a one-star review for the venue in Darwen, Lancashire, labeling it ‘disgusting’

Amalfi Lounge, the Italian restaurant on Duckworth Street, in Darwen
Amalfi Lounge, the Italian restaurant on Duckworth Street, in Darwen

A restaurant manager has hit back at a guest who dubbed the eatery “disgusting”, despite never having eaten there.

Amalfi Lounge, an Italian restaurant in Darwen, Lancashire, has earned itself a 4-star rating, following 605 reviews left by previous guests on Tripadvisor.

With an extensive menu of traditional Italian dishes, it’s rated #6 of 77 restaurants in Darwen, Lancs Live reports.

The family-run restaurant pays homage to their grandfather, Eduardo Salza, whose legacy they honor on their menu.

Main pasta dishes cost between £8 and £12 and are available alongside burgers, risotto and loaded fries.

Of their 605 reviews, 356 of them rate Amalfi Lounge as ‘excellent’ with one guest, who visited on January 9, claiming it is the best meal they had ‘all year’.

One wrote: “This place always serves up top quality grub. Cooked to perfection. Have been dining here for a few years on special occasions and can honestly say that we’ve never had a bad dish yet, keep up the good work.”

The restaurant has a 4-star rating overall following 605 reviews left by previous guests on TripAdvisor

A second guest wrote: “Amazing flavorful fresh food, lovely setting, food was fast, hot and so tasty! We will be back, hats off to the chefs.”

A third wrote: “Took our office out for a meal, Amalfi Lounge. 15 people, pre-ordered. It all arrived on cue, no mistakes. The food was simply outstanding and the service excellent.

“Italian menus can be very copy/paste from the next one and yes, they have carbonara, lasagne, pizzas and garlic bread but it isn’t a standard copy/paste menu at all.

“Lots of different dishes and a great selection of starters and mains. The Fromaggio di capra (goats cheese and Parma ham) is a mouthgasm.

“Pollo panne Diane, excellent. The Gamberoni comes with either tomato or creamy sauce so whichever type you are, it’s there (I like both).

“So you can have a great tapas night or a normal starters/mains night. Great selection of drinks including cocktails. If you’re over 40, try the refresher!”

But one guest, who attempted to eat at the restaurant four weeks ago, left a one-star review for the Amalfi Lounge.

He wrote: “Disgusting. Just been refused entry to a completely empty restaurant for some reason disgusting attitude to customers.”

Martin C, General Manager at Amalfi Lounge, quickly responded to the guest, slamming them for their ‘grossly unfair’ review – given that they hadn’t even eaten there.

Martin replied: “Hi Colin, Thanks for taking time to leave such a detailed review, albeit grossly unfair as 1, you haven’t dined with us (we are a restaurant after all) and 2, you clearly don’t have a full grasp of how restaurants have to operate at peak times – but I will happily explain this for you now.

“We operate as most restaurants across the UK do, we accept both walk in trade and bookings, and when the restaurant is fully booked we no longer accept walk ins.

“Although it’s clear you are a magician with words, I will break it down in numbers so you can fully see why we couldn’t sit you down.

“When you came in yesterday 5 of our 19 tables were occupied, so I can totally understand your initial response of ‘why can’t I sit on an empty one’ – but the answer is above – bookings. Although not all the tables were occupied, they were all booked within the next 30 to 45 minutes.”

Martin then shared the run sheet of the night to prove to Colin exactly why he couldn’t be seated.

“Our run sheet looked as follows…

“18:30 – 3 tables of 2, 1 table of 11 (3) – that takes us to 11 tables.

“18:45 – 1 table of 5, 1 table of 2 – 13 tables.

“19:00 – 1 table of 9 (3), 1 table of 3 – 17 tables.

“19:15 – 1 table of 4, 1 table of 3 – 19 tables, no more left.

“We had further bookings from 19:30 which were booked for the already occupied tables.”

After explaining the booking process, Martin moved on to responding to being called ‘disgusting’, something he says ‘simply isn’t true’.

He added: “So to say our attitude towards our customers is ‘disgusting’ quite simply isn’t true. We do all we can to safeguard our guests’ experience with us – that starts with them having the table they have booked for, which wouldn’t have been the case had we sat you down.

“We really do hope this alleviates any ill feeling you have towards us, we would have loved to have had you dine with us, but we simply didn’t have the room.

“We would always recommend booking to guarantee your table, and please remember no restaurant will ever turn you away unless they really cant accommodate you, we all need the money due to Covid. All the best.”

On their website Amalfi strongly advises booking to ‘avoid disappointment’.

It is open from Monday to Saturday from 4pm.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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